Presenting Michiel Bellen, the founder of ADAZOO and Lead Cardano Developer
December 6, 2022

Dear NMKR community, you

In this interview, we present to you Michiel Bellen of ADAZOO. As one of the first Cardano-based blockchain gaming projects, ADAZOO is a unique NFTs game in which users can level up their assets, trade them with other players, and even earn rewards in the form of tokens. Michiel delves into how he came up with the concept for this project, what makes it so special, how they are developing their platform step by step, and what their team values. Read on!

NMKR: What inspired you to start developing ADAZOO? Please tell us what makes it so special.

Michiel: When the NFT project Spacebudz launched, early 2021, I started thinking: “this is nice, but how can we give NFT’s that extra edge and a real use case?”

Being a big gamer myself when I was young, an idea popped into my head to start working on an initiative that would give NFT’s an additional dimension as part of the gaming industry. Imagine using your NFT’s in a game, leveling them up and being able to get rewarded for your work if you would like to sell that NFT to someone else who doesn’t want to put the work in?

Being a tech-savvy person, I took it on as a personal challenge, “can I do this? I can do this!”. A few months in, our team managed to build a beta MVP (minimal viable product) on the Cardano testnet which our community members were able to try out and give feedback. At the time there were not that many gamified projects out there, the idea of expanding remained and we kept building towards a launch on the Cardano mainnet. 

What makes this project so special is that we built the MVP with our own hands, knowledge, skills, and that we built it out of passion and interest - it’s not just about making a quick buck. Even more, we launched our MVP beta without ever doing an nft/token sale!  Integrity is something we really value. We never promised something we could not deliver. As stated previously we wanted to first prove to ourselves that we could actually DO this. And yes, at the time of our token sale, we actually had a working product which our community could enjoy. Back in 2021, this was pretty unique since most projects were promising a lot, but weren’t able to deliver. Not even after requiring a lot of funding after their token sale. This is where we wanted to make a difference. 

ADAZOO is still here, continuously building and now working towards our v2 version!

NMKR: What are the major challenges you're facing right now? We would like to know about your team's plans to overcome them.

Michiel: On a technical level we don’t really have any major issues, we have our infrastructure as well as our setup covered and we are still working hard to deliver results. The smart contract functionality has a learning curve, but I’m climbing that mountain through a Plutus course :)

Our biggest challenge at the moment is market exposure, we are one of the OG’s in the field of Cardano Gaming (fun fact: we were second in domain registration in our vertical, right after Cardano Warriors) but getting real exposure in this world is not a simple task. 

Although we’ve got an amazing product, built by Cardano enthusiasts, who have been developing since 2021, there are still a lot of people out there who don’t know about ADAZOO. This is our biggest challenge, especially since we’re about to launch our v2 version.

NMKR: What are you doing to get people to use or invest in your project? Please share some thoughts about your growth strategy so that other NFT creators can learn something.

Michiel: Under promising and over delivering. That is something we have been doing ever since we started (and will continue doing). We don’t want to rely on ‘hopium’, we want to let the results speak for themselves.

Also the voice of our community members is important to us. We’re constantly looking for feedback and acting upon it. We want to make ADAZOO better, together.

Regarding our socials, we’re mainly focusing on Twitter at the moment, interacting with the community but we need to work towards exposure to the broader public as still a lot of Cardano Community members don’t know about ADAZOO

As we get closer to our v2 launch we’ll increase our efforts to get the word out there. We’re convinced our new version will provide new exciting utilities and will attract new users to our platform.

NMKR: What do you think about NMKR? Tell us what we can do for NFT creators you in the long run so we both win!

Michiel: I love NMKR, I’ve been following the project/product from both inside the community ecosystem as well as from the Cardano Foundation perspective. As a tech person I really admire what you have built and the value that the product offers in lowering the threshold for entering the Cardano NFT ecosystem! I’m aiming to get some more exposure for ADAZOO through NMKR as we build and are still building something pretty unique and remarkable which deserves more attention.

NMKR: What's your vision for the future of blockchain/decentralized technologies like Cardano? Please tell us what you're doing to make that future a reality.

Michiel: Our MVP launched on mainnet in March 2022. Ever since, we have been working on adding more features such as Player vs Player (on top of the existing Player vs Environment), Treasure Hunts where players have to search for 24 chests, scattered across our in-game island. Every chest holds a single word that together combines into a wallet mnemonic - the idea is simple, the first person to find all words can drain the wallet. We are working on creating a utility token that players can earn by playing and winning. These tokens can be used to upgrade their NFT’s. We are planning a release of this functionality in the coming 1-2 months on mainnet. It is currently live and being tested on our development environment. 

There are more exciting things coming up like:

  • Opening new islands (with exotic species)
  • Giving players virtual houses for passive training (option to rent out to other players). 
  • ...

NMKR: If our readers would like to know more about you, how can they get in touch with you?

Michiel: The most important message here is that we’re working towards a v2 version of our game. A lot of new features will be introduced, such as PvP, an in-game currency, purchasable items, updated UI/UX, new website,... This will give a more fun and competitive experience to our players. That is what gaming is all about!

If you would like to stay in touch, we have multiple sources:

  • They can follow us on Twitter (https://twitter.com/adazooNFT), DM’s are open.
  • They can read up on the project on our website (https://adazoo.com)
  • They can join our community on Discord and interact with us, we’re pretty responsive and our DM’s are always open!

NMKR: Learning more about ADAZOO was an absolute pleasure. We look forward to working with you and your team to create a more engaged and interactive Cardano ecosystem together. We do agree that the blockchain gaming world is an emerging field that needs to be explored and tapped into. It is always exciting to talk about how we can work together to create a more vibrant ecosystem. Let’s make it happen!

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